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Day Trippin’ to Voodoo and Sprague Breweries

With the long Memorial Day weekend that was coming up, I realized that I had very little plans. There were no races and no cookouts, so with an entire weekend free, I said to Ryan “Let’s go on a trip somewhere!” He looked at me like I was crazy. We have a wedding coming up, I have tons to do, and we need to be saving money for the wedding. The wedding runs our life. Then I said “Let’s go to Hill Farmstead! Road Trip!” His eyes light up and we started looking into it.

For those of you who don’t know, Hill Farmstead is a brewery in Greensboro, VT. From what I hear, it is THE place to go and the beers are amazing and highly sought after (Ryan can attest to their deliciousness).  On this particular weekend, there were releasing a beer that was a collaboration with Ryan’s favorite brewery, Jackie O’s.  So, he was super excited. However, it is a 14 hour drive from Cleveland. Once you get there, the brewery is seriously in the middle of no where. The nearest hotel is 30-40 mins away.  We are actually lucky that we did not go; bad weather in Vermont postponed the bottle release! I would have been super fiesty if we drove there and came home beerless.

We decided to save Hill Farmstead for another weekend getaway and made plans to go to Voodoo Brewery in Meadville, PA. The plan was to go outlet mall shopping in Grove City and then go to Voodoo for drinks and an early dinner. However, someone (raises hand) spent too much money on running clothes lately. Being the responsible one, I decided it would be better if I skipped the outlet mall (gasp! i know).

Early on Saturday morning of our Memorial Day weekend, we made the trek to Voodoo Brewery. It is an easy drive that takes less than 2 hours. However, we stopped for cupcakes to do our wedding cake tasting on the drive over. That is some major multitasking right there! Then, we stopped at a beer store on the east side, took a quick bathroom break, and finally hit the road. The drive there went incredibly fast and before we knew it we were in downtown Meadville.

Literally, the brewery pops up out of no where. We were driving down Arch Street looking for it and there it was, right across from the post office. It was definitely not what I expected from the outside.

Welcome to VooDoo Brewery
Welcome to Voodoo Brewery

We got there only about 30 minutes after it opened, so there were very few patrons inside. This was nice because I could take pictures without feeling like a weirdo.

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We decided that since we drove all the way there (and their beers do not make it to Ohio), we might as well sample every beer that they had on tap. There were 10 beers on tap so 10 samples and very reasonable priced. Since we had some time to kill, we also ordered lunch. We both got the mussels and split a hummus appetizer. My favorite beers ended up being Wynona’s Big Brown Ale, Gran Met (a Belgian tripel…yes, that is spelled correctly!) and Voodoo Love Child (which is the Gran Met aged for three months on Michigan sour cherries, Oregon Rasperries, and passion fruit).  Yum!

They keep their to-go bottled beers in these adorable red fridges. They have one big red fridge and one little red fridge (the little red one is pictured above). I suddenly want to trade in our kegerator for one of these red ones.

In March, Voodoo had a release of bottled barrel-aged beers, which basically involved having to camp out overnight or arrive very early in the morning. Ryan was able to score some bottles through trades, but, since they are all so tasty, he wanted more. The bartender informed us that he had a few bottles left of the Laird’s Apple Brandy Barrel Aged Gran Met and that Ryan was welcome to buy some. Ryan’s face lit up! I wish you could have seen how excited he was! I was secretly excited because I wanted to try it too!

So pretty!
So pretty!
Old doors hanging from the ceiling
Old doors hanging from the ceiling

My pictures came out a little dark, but there are these cool old doors hanging from the ceiling, as well as window seating with barrel tables. There is plenty of seating and open standing space as well. Our bartender was beyond helpful with getting us beers, telling us about the area; he also pours a nice shandy. (I didn’t have a shandy though; that was for the drunk ladies next to us).

The Shandy Man
The Shandy Man

While sitting at the bar, the ladies next to us informed us that there was another brewery 10 minutes away. They won me over when they said it was on a farm and you drink with cows! We were already out in PA so we HAD to check out this other place, Sprague Farm and Brew Works.

Bridge on the way to Sprague
Bridge on the way to Sprague

They weren’t lying when they said it was on a farm. If I had not been warned I would have thought I was at the wrong place and trespassing on someone’s property. Sadly, I didn’t see any cows, but it was still a cool place to see. We each grabbed a beer and headed to hang out on the massive patio. I was drinking an Ale Mary (Belgian White) and I could drink that all day. If a keg made it’s way to Cleveland, I would not be mad about it.

Cheers
Cheers

Don’t let the sun fool you. It was freezing out. We stayed on the patio as long as we could. It was a beautiful place and if the weather was warmer, we easily would have sat on the patio longer.

Chillin on the patio
Chillin on the patio

I was kinda glad we went back inside. I had somehow missed this awesome stage they had.

Inside Sprague Farms
Inside Sprague Farms

Overall, I am very happy with how the “day trip” went. We left at 10 and were home by 6. Best part is we’ll be coming back to visit when I run the Erie Marathon in September.

Zivjeli! (Cheers!)

 

Disclosure: All opinions are my own. All beer research was done on my own. No I am not turning into a beer geek. Yes I am starting to get into hoppy beers. I was not compensated in anyway for writing this post but Ryan did pay for my meal and drinks.

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My Night Out With Elle Magazine & Wella Hair: Turn Any Light Into The Spotlight

Last night, I traded in my sweaty running clothes, put on a dress and heels to attend an event at the Charles Scott Salon in Rocky River. How else would I taper for a marathon just days away?

From Wella Hair USA Facebook page

I’ve been to Charles Scott Salon many times to get my hair and nails done and I’ve always been mega impressed with their salon and professionalism. When Canopi contacted me to attend an event, hosted by Elle Magazine and Wella Hair Professionals, I jumped at the chance to go.

I was aware that they were doing lite apps, drinks and a D.J. but I did not know they were doing hair, makeup and nails for the attendees! I went back with a stylist to get my hair done and she asked what I wanted to do. I responded “just do whatever”. When it doesn’t involve cutting or coloring my hair, I can be pretty brave.

Hanging with some hotties

My stylist, Christine, gave me some beach waves and I love dthem!!! I wear my hair 3 ways, straight, curly or pony tail. But now I need to get myself a styling wand ASAP, to master beach waves for the summer.

I also had the chance to get my nails done. If you know anything about me, I love getting my nails done. When I do my own nails, it looks like a toddler painted them. When I get them done though, I usually chip them within the first 12 hours. But guess what??? It’s been almost 24 hours and I have yet to chip them!

As I was leaving the event, I was handed a goodie bag with hair products from Wella and an issue of Elle Magazine. Looking forward to testing out their products and kicking back with a girlie magazine.

Swag bag
Swag bag

I’d say the worst part of the night was when it was time to go to bed. I loved my hair and didn’t want to mess it up.

So sad
So sad

I was hoping I would wake up in the morning, my hair would have stayed and I could have gone to work with my beach waves. It did not, so it’s back to straight hair for now but I’m coming back for you beach waves!

What’s your favorite way to wear your hair?

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What I do when I am sick

Ok so when I thought I was getting over being sick I was really just still sick and didn’t know it. It was a pretty rough couple days but I think finally I am starting to feel like myself again. Running will resume in a couple days just trying to make sure I am 100% and don’t push it.

While being sick the Doctor (who I usually avoid at all costs) told me I just needed to rest and I would get better. I’m really not good at resting but I tried my best. I caught up on my DVR, watched multiple movies (Breaking Dawn, The Bourne Supremacy and Munich) and approximately 11 episodes of The Killing (Season 2 on Netflix). Totally hooked on that show, although it’s not better than The Americans.

I also created a new resume….It’s pretty much the real stuff that should be included in my “real life” resume but people just aren’t ready for this kind of honesty yet. Since we are being so honest, I have left out my real name and address to avoid stalkers
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Moja Mala
2.Wordpress.com
Cleveland, OH 4411?

Education:
Finished high school.  Participated in Volleyball, Soccer, Cheerleading, Gymnastics & Track. Biggest failure was switching from volleyball to soccer when the volleyball team won states that year. SMH.
Finished college. Major Business classes & “Minor” drinking. Played intramural softball and made great friends #teabaggers #RIPpartygirl

Experience:
Living life

Skills:

  • Finder of all potholes in Cleveland. Actually, my car finds them not me.
  • Trash Talking. Mostly 12 yr olds while playing call of duty.
  • Pretending to be a 12 yr old when playing call of duty.
  • Time Management. I DVR 95% of the TV I watch and then fast forward through commercials. I also plan to watch DVR’d shows when the DVR is recording 2 shows at once.
  • Pinterest Pro. I know my Pins are valued by the number of repins I get. I’m probably in the top 10 of pinterest users. If you are not on Pinterest, you are wasting your life.
  • Patience. I spend 10 minutes every morning taming my crazy cowlick. It’s mixture of excessive blow-drying, smashing down with bobby pins and copious amounts of hairspray. Maybe this one should be listed under science.
  • The ability to spot someone’s look alike no matter where I go. My newest one is Nick Swisher’s look alike is Joey Lawrence. “WOAH!”.
  • Showering Daily. Well, I’m still working on that one. But I do blow dry the sweat out of my hair. Sometimes.
  • Kolo Dancing Pro. Trust me, this is a skill and not a hobby. 90% of my readers don’t know what this is but trust me, I’m good. Been a skilled kolo dancer since at least 4 years old.
  • Saving Money. I’ve had the same pair of glasses since 2002. Also my work pants are mostly from Express 2006. (maybe 2005). I really know how to make things last.
  • Being Creative. This one is kind of serious, you guys but I’m really good at making photo albums on Shutterfly. Also good at creating worthless typography-type designs in Microsoft Publisher. (maybe that part should be a hobby?)
  • Self Diagnosing. I’m pretty decent at googling my symptoms to figure out what is wrong. Saves me a lot of time and money since I don’t have to go to the doctor. Google is my doctor.
  • CPI Certified. You perhaps don’t know what that is but let’s just say you don’t want to mess with me. I’m pretty badass.
  • Baking. Essentially, this is another serious one. I’m actually a good baker. However, apparently you don’t become a millionaire by baking.
  • Traveling. Notice I did not say vacationing. I’m bad at relaxing. But making travel reservations, planning out schedules and itineraries. I’ve got that down.
  • Knowing 90% of the words to Salt n Pepper’s “Shoop”. I sing it in the car on my way to work. Pumps me up for my “real” job. Sometimes I do the boy part too.

Hobbies:

  • Running for really no point other than I think it’s fun. Clearly, I need more hobbies.
  • Related, I’m really good at mapping out runs, making up workouts, talking about running and giving my opinion on every race. Hey! Who wants to talk about running!?!?!
  • Cuddling with puppies. Puppies love me, what more can I say.
  • Polished Painter. Yes, we are talking about nails here. Actually, I not very good at it since I paint my cuticles and sides of my finger. My 9 yr old sister says you shouldn’t do that. But I do keep polish on them most of the time. Chipping or not, my nails are painted.
  • Reading. Mostly teen fiction but it’s better than nothing.

References:

Available upon request. However, the best reference is to meet me in person. OR stalk my facebook account.
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So basically that’s what I accomplish when I am sick. What do you do when you are sick? What should be on your resume that isn’t?

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Do you know what today is?

Well it’s 130 days til the wedding.
61 days til the Cleveland Marathon
13 Days til Opening Day
11 more days of Lent.

Or

It’s this cutie’s Birthday!!!!

Loving that fresh haircut!
Loving that fresh haircut!

Happy Birthday Ryan!!! Love you and can’t wait to give you your presents and take you to dinner….after we get our speedwork in of course 🙂

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A Week Ago Today

Or at least I think it was a week ago. I was eating my weight in chocolate at See’s Candies at Beachwood Mall.

Located on the 2nd level by the food court
Located on the 2nd level by the food court

Ok I think I only had 4-5 pieces but who can turn down free samples of chocolate!

Bordeaux
Sample No. 1 Bordeaux
Sample #2 California Brittle
Sample #2 California Brittle

 

I had a chance to sample some of their top selling chocolates the Bordeaux, California Brittle and the Scotchmallow (not pictured).

 

I also sampled the Cafe Hazelnut and OMG was it amazing! I made the mistake of taking Ryan with me to this event, he gave up nuts and ice cream for Lent (his 2 favorite snacks) so it was torture for him (sorry). Which I felt bad about at first but now I have a good reason to go back. I can grab Cafe Hazelnut chocolates for myself and anything with nuts for him 🙂

Old School See's Candies cars...and that Hottie!
Old School See’s Candies cars…and that Hottie!

At See’s you can make a custom box of your own chocolates or you can grab a pre-made box that they have in stock. They have TONS of different chocolates in store. Below is just a few pictures. The case is soooo long I couldn’t even fit all the chocolates in one picture. So just imagine the picture times 4. P.S. they also have lollipops!

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Before I ate too much chocolate, got fat and had to be rolled out of the store they let us give a try at filling our own candy box. It was not easy. Let’s just say I’m better at eating chocolate.

Hello!
Hello!

This was my first time at See’s Candies but I will be back. Actually, that was the first time I had ever had their candy. Anyone out there a fan of See’s Candies? Anyone remember the I Love Lucy episode of it?

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It’s Christmas Eve!

Thankfully I have the world’s most amazing fiancé and he lets me blog while we are watching A Christmas Story. He watches A Christmas Story every Christmas Eve.

Christmas eve is always spent with my Mom’s family. It’s crazy and loud and I look forward to it every year.

My sister and I were festive in our red shirts, I’m still trying to convince my family that pink is a Christmas color. I am making up for it and sitting here blogging in my pink thermal Christmas snowflake PJs. (Maybe next year I’ll be brave enough to post a picture of myself in them)

IMG_1033[1]
The world’s best sister!
Every one is assigned an item to bring for Christmas eve dinner. I was assigned an appetizer so I made spinach dip and pumpernickel bread. It was my first time making this and it came out perfect. Ryan was in charge of beer and brought a growler of Columbus Cousin Eddie. The beer was so good that it was gone quick so we busted open the liquor and wine.

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Just your normal drinking family.
Every year we stuff our selves into Grandma’s living room to exchange presents. All my cousins are growing up so we barely fit in the living room at this point.

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Mess of presents and family.
My Uncle and cousins sing and play for Christmas eve mass at St. Paul’s Croatian church but they gave us a mini show before they left.

IMG_1055[1] IMG_1056[1]

The good news is between all the drinking, raunchy/innappropriate conversations, opening presents, singing happy birthday to baby jesus, eating ice cream cake, and more drinking Ryan survived his first Christmas Eve with my crazy but entertaining family.

IMG_1063[1]
The future Mr. And Mrs. McCartney
Tomorrow morning is spent at my Mom’s house opening presents and probably eating a ridiculous amount of food. Then heading to visit Ryan’s family.

What are your plans for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?

P.S. My sister is singing at Christmas day mass and said doesn’t want to open presents til after mass. Clearly there is something wrong with her.

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Slow At Noticing Things

I will blame it on being blonde but how did I NOT notice this!

lime green runningDo you see it?

My bib number for the Santa Hustle was 1225. Christmas Day! How cool is that?

IMG_0999[1]I probably didn’t notice because I was so excited there was a 2 on my bib number (2 is my favorite number). I get excited about the silliest things. Luckily, reader Jodi noticed and pointed it out to me. Jodi ran a half marathon every month this year!

Jodi and I after the Santa Husltle
Jodi and I after the Santa Husltle

For those of you who read my blog in Google reader, I added a “Wedding Posts” page on my site. One stop shop for all wedding related items!

I have to confess I cannot stop eating marshmallows. Ever since I gave them up for Lent last year (along with everything else I gave up), I crave them all the time. Plain ones are my favorite but I also like the strawberry and caramel ones when I can find them. Then I started doing this:

marshmallow stash
marshmallow stash

I started putting a mix of marshmallows in a giant zip lock bag. In the current mix, there are pumpkin marshmallows, chocolate mint and mini marshmallows. We had Gingerbread marshmallows but they didn’t last long.

What are you snacking on lately?